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HammerFall / Labyrinth
I Want Out / Timeless Crime
Released: 1999, Nuclear Blast Records / Metal Blade
Hammerfall - I Want Out (EP)
Labyrinth - Timeless Crime (EP)
1999 Nuclear Blast / 1999 Metal Blade | Ratings - 4/5 & 4.5/5
Because both of these releases are EP's and there isn't a whole lot of material on them to cover, I figured I'd save a little space and just write one review. That, plus I feel too lazy to type a second heading.
First up, Hammerfall. While this disc is being promoted as the I Want Out EP, it's basically just the "At the End of the Rainbow" single with covers of the Helloween classic "I Want Out" and Rainbow's "Man on the Silver Mountain" as the B-Sides. (Both of these songs, by the way, also appear on the current Helloween and Dio tribute albums.) Former Helloween/current Gamma Ray guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Kai Hansen shares the mic with vocalist Joacim Cans on "I Want Out" and also sings back up on "Man on the Silver Mountain." (*For those who don't know, Kai wrote "I Want Out" while still in Helloween.) Both covers are exceptionally well done, but in all honesty I still prefer the original version of "I Want Out" from Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt.2. I can't comment on "Man on the Silver Mountain" since I've never heard the original...Yes, I was deprived of much as a child. (ed. note: for shame!!)
In addition to the three audio tracks, the video for "Glory to the Brave" from HammerFall's debut CD is also included for viewing on your PC. This was a real treat for me because it's the first Hammerfall video I've ever seen (What can I say? MuchMusic SUCKS!!!). Though I have to admit, the video is a little cheesy with metal video clichés popping up throughout it's entirety. The worst being guitarist Oscar Dronjak playing his solo on top of a waterfall. All I could do when I saw that was shake my head and laugh. (As long as they don't turn into a bunch of baggy-pants wearing FREAKS, I think I'll be able to forgive them.)
Now, on to Labyrinth. Timeless Crime consists of three new/previously unreleased songs, an acoustic version of "Falling Rain" (from the album Return to Heaven Denied), and one hidden track, a cover of Sanctuary's "Die for my Sins." The new material is as good as, if not better, than everything on RTHD, so fans of the band need not fear disappointment when purchasing this disc. The cover of "Die for my Sins" is very good, but the addition of keyboards did take away from the aggressiveness of the song a little. Then again, I guess they didn't want to make their keyboardist feel bad by making him sit in the corner while they recorded it.
So if you're a Hammerfall fan who's not really into tribute albums, then this EP is a much more economical way to get a copy of these particular cover songs. And if you like Labyrinth at all, then Timeless Crime is a must-have. Nuff said.
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